The NBA’s Slam Dunk competition will be held at halftime of the All-Star game on Sunday, March 7th, and below we discuss the contestants and predict the winner!
Slam Dunk Contest
Sunday, March 7, 2021 – 7:00PM – Halftime of 2021 All-Star Game at State Farm Arena
This year’s All-Star weekend will be crammed into a one-day event where the Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest will both take place before the tip-off of the game itself. At the half, we will see the best dunkers in the world take flight but without the palpable energy of a packed-to-the-max stadium crowd. This year there will be no fans in the stands but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of thrills and chills when this newest iteration of dunkers sky-high and slam the rock through the hole.
Below we take a look at the participants and the accompanying NBA odds on each to determine which contestant has the best chance of taking home the hardware and putting a few more bucks in our wallets. Without further ado, let’s get to it and see what the oddsmakers over at BetOnline are dealing on this short three-man field.
The Scoring & the Judges
The Slam Dunk Contest this year will feature only three players getting two dunks apiece in the first of two rounds. The first-round dunks will be scored on a scale of 6-10 by five judges with the cumulative score determining the winners in the opening round. The two contestants with the highest scores will advance into the final round while the third will be eliminated. In the second and final round, both remaining contestants will get only one dunk apiece and the judges will watch both before each chooses their favorite by holding up a placard with the player’s name written on it. The majority rules and a new champion will be crowned.
This year’s judges will be comprised of five previous NBA Slam Dunk champions including, Dominique Wilkins (1985 & 1990 champion), Dee Brown (1991), Jason Richardson (2002 & 2003), Josh Smith (2005), and Spud Webb (1986).
- Obi Toppin (New York Knicks) +150
- Anfernee Simons (Portland Trail Blazers) +175
- Cassius Stanley (Indiana Pacers) +190
Here are three contestants, none of which are household names, yet all can bring it to the rim and get you out of your seat when they slam it home. Obi Topping is a power forward for the Knicks and is the tallest of the three contestants, standing 6’9”, and the favorite at most of the best betting sites.
Anfernee Simmons, a 6’3” 21-year-old shooting guard for the Trail Blazers, has not started a game all season but he will be front and center in this competition. Averaging only 8.1 points per game on just a click over 17 minutes per contest, Simmons has an opportunity to shine at halftime on Sunday night.
Cassius Stanley sits at the end of the bench for the Pacers but he will be their lead man in this competition. Indiana’s 54th overall pick in the 2020 draft stands 6’5” and has only gotten in eight games all season. Although he hasn’t been seen much in his rookie campaign, hardcore hoops fans will recall he was a standout at the NBA Draft Combine last year.
Topping is the biggest name in this competition and has some highlight film to prove he can get above the rim and bring the thunder. However, his height might work against him and the two relative unknowns competing against him could surprise the judges which would likely elevate their scores just enough to tip the scales in their favor.
Therefore, we will toss out the favorite and focus on the two remaining contestants, Anfernee Simons and rookie Cassius Stanley. Simons has a 41 ½ inch vertical leap while Stanley jumps out of the gym with a stunning 44-inch leap and has an amateur slam dunk contest on his resume.
In a competition between two obscure players, we will go with the most anonymous and the one with the highest odds of the three in our NBA picks. Make your money with Stanley at +190 to become the newest slam dunk king.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.